Victoria Mulls Laws Clarifying Right to Use Stormwater, Age Says

The Australian state of Victoria is considering laws that would designate the rainfall falling onto Melbourne’s streets and down drains as property of the state, the Age newspaper reported, citing Water Minister Peter Walsh.

The move, which would see licences to use the water sold to the highest bidder, is part of a push to recognize rainwater as “a valuable alternative-water-supply opportunity,” Walsh told the newspaper.

Some 450 billion liters of stormwater runs off Melbourne each year, about the same as the total amount of drinking water consumed, the newspaper said, adding ownership of stormwater in local-government drains would likely be owned by Melbourne Water, which would issue usage licenses.

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